You’ve asked about flirting. And asked. And asked.
I Can’t Hear You
I’ve pretended not to notice. Not because I don’t care, but ’cause:
- I feel disqualified to answer. I mean, if you only knew. In high school, I remember leaning forward so my (male) biology partner would . . . (you can figure it out.) Yeah, I wish I had a do-over.
- As a teen, I’d regularly attend a summer camp where my aunt served as the cook. She’d watch my interactions with guys and accuse me of being a flirt almost every year. (I always denied it adamantly, by the way.) I’m a huge fan of being friendly and have always loved to make people feel welcome—regardless of their sex. So I dismissed her concerns.
- Flirting is foggy. How are we supposed to know when we’ve crossed the line from being friendly and having fun with a guy to flirting with him? And is flirting even necessarily wrong?
- I fear making you feel paranoid about whether others (like my aunt) think you’re flirting or not. I want you to be yourself; I have no desire to make you feel self-conscious whenever you’re around a guy.
But it’s an important question. You want to know, and I want to know. Is flirting harmless—could it even be chivalrous—or is flirting plain ‘ole wrong? There are a whole lot of different opinions out there.
But Flirting Is Natural. And Fun.
Let’s face it. Flirting comes naturally (please tell me I’m not the only one). And flirting is fun—especially when it’s returned.
Well, I should clarify. It’s fun in the moment. Afterward, it’s usually plain ‘ole depressing ’cause (let’s be honest) we did it to get a certain result and then . . . nothing. Nothing really changes.
And let’s be honest: Just because something’s “fun” and “natural” doesn’t mean it’s best. I mean, when you were little it was “fun” and “natural” to:
- pull your little sister’s hair.
- refuse to eat your peas.
- stand on your chair.
- say “no” instead of “please.”
But that didn’t make it right.
So today I’m taking the plunge. I’m going to get a conversation rolling about flirting.
What Is Flirting, Anyway?
First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page when we throw around the word “flirting.” For the sake of this discussion, we’ll go with the Dictionary.com definition. Flirting is to:
- toy or play with another’s affections.
- deal playfully or carelessly.
Ouch. Sounds a lot like, It’s all about me, doesn’t it?
As fun and “natural” as flirting is, it’s also contradictory to who I now am in Christ.
Funny, though, how we can convince ourselves we’re actually building that guy up with our smiles, words, and playfulness. We can almost think our flirting is chivalrous.
But based on this definition, here’s one conclusion I’ve reached about flirting:
Chivalrous Flirting Is an Oxymoron.
Huh? Come again, you ask?
Okay, let me break it down for you.
Chivalrous means “considerate and courteous.”
But based on Dictionary.com’s definition, flirting isn’t considerate of the other person; it’s completely self-centered. (If you’re not sure about that, read through the definitions again, and ask if you’d want a guy to treat you like that.)
That’s why “chivalrous flirting” is an oxymoron—it’s completely contradictory. And as fun and “natural” as flirting is, I’d have to say it’s also contradictory to who I now am in Christ. Why do I say that? Philippians 2:3–5, for starters:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.
The next time you catch yourself flirting, I dare you to ask yourself why.
Why Do I Flirt?
I asked a few people why we flirt. Here’s what three people had to say:
Panic that no one will pay attention causes the urge to flirt.
While we flirt, someone is positively responding to us and accepting us, so we’re encouraged to continue.
I think part of it is the thrill of the chase. Flirting is not just to get a person, but to get a reaction. Sometimes girls flirt even with a guy they don’t really want.
How about you? Why do you tend to flirt? When you dig deeper, what’s really going on in your heart?
Hang in there—we’re just getting started. Come back next week for what Christian guys think about flirting.
“Chivalrous Flirting: An Oxymoron” was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.